It's comprised of a lens on top of three triangular electronic photodetectors. By measuring how quickly objects appear in and move across each detector, the UAV can figure out its speed and direction. The sensor measures just two cubic millimeters square and weighs a paltry two milligrams but can still detect motion three times faster than your standard housefly. What's more, the sensor can operate equally well in both low, indoor lighting and exterior sunlight.
To help the drone see everywhere at once (thereby making it impervious to swatting attempts) the team also developed "vision tape" which is, basically, a strip of tape with a bunch of these eyes attached. The strip can reportedly be affixed to any curved surface -- whether that's another robot, industrial machines, even furniture and clothing.
[Image Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF]